7L & Esoteric may not be known for their political ideologies, but like many Americans, George W. Bush has sparked their interest. With one of the most important elections in US history right around the corner, the Boston duo are adamant about getting President Bush out of office. On their newest album Bars of Death, Eso holds nothing back when discussing Bush or the current state of the US. Eso's message rings "Loud & Clear" on his fiery politically driven tracks, sending a strong message to the Hip Hop community, get out and vote! 7L & Esoteric recently took some time out to speak with AllHipHop.com about their newest album, and current opinion on what’s really going on. Hey, this election might be the first thing Hip-Hop has unanimously agreed on since the Technics 1200.
AllHipHop.com: Let us start by talking about the album, Bars of Death. Have you been pleased with the initial reactions from the fans?
7L: Definitely, just judging from the shows we have been doing out of state. Kids have been running up to us and saying they love it. Even people we known personally, that are friends of ours who heard the record awhile back are saying it’s our best work - which we feel it is too. This one is definitely a more concentrated effort on both of our parts. So we are pleased.
AllHipHop.com: Are you happy with what Babygrande has been doing to promote the album?
Eso: Yeah, we have definitely been happy with them so far. They got us an ad on MTV2, which was good. Basically, the whole thing has sort of been a rollercoaster ride from the beginning. Because we made a last minute decision to sign with those guys, as Bars of Death was originally supposed to come out on Brick. But Babygrande had been interested in working with us since the first Dangerous Connection, and we made a decision at the last minute. So things have been moving really quickly, and despite the rush to get it out by July, which is something we wanted on our own conditions, everything has been all right. The next album however, will be a more focused attack as far as publicity and all of that. But we were happy with the MTV ad.
7L: Yeah, there was some stuff this time around that we kind of knew going into it that we weren't going to be able to do. Because Babygrande said they like to have the record for six months, so they can sit with it for a while and come up with a strategy. But with this one, we handed it and next week [they had to] go ahead and get a campaign going. So we kind of knew going in that it wouldn't be the best it could be promoted wise, but it’s definitely been the best we have had yet.
AllHipHop.com: Eso, do you think this album shows your growth over the years?
Eso: Definitely, as a whole this album is our most mature release. I feel I am speaking from my own perspective on a lot of the topics. I think the stuff that I touch on may be a little more varied, versus our older stuff. So I think this has a good mix between the battle shit we are known for and the more introspective things. So I feel I keep challenging myself as an emcee, and that is something that lies within me. Its my passion, so I don’t really put it on cruise control. I try and get better with every album.
AllHipHop.com: Eso, you really dive into the political scene on this album, so what are your thoughts on the current state of our country?
Eso: It's pretty self explanatory, getting George W. Bush out of office is the main aim. I'm not so much pro Kerry as I am anti Bush. There are only so many options, so you can vote for Ralph Nader, but that is easier to do if you are in Massachusetts than if you are in the Midwest, where every state is a battlefield for votes. So over here you can throw out a vote for Nader as a protest, because Kerry is going to take Massachusetts anyway. But I feel the same way as a lot of people, I would vote for anybody just to get Bush out of office, because he is an incompetent a**hole.
AllHipHop.com: Did you watch the Democratic National Convention?
Eso: Yeah, I thought John Kerry's speech was good, and of course, that is who I am voting for. It was a good speech, but if you are going to delve into politics in the first place, you know you are dealing with an a**hole. So some of it was nauseating, but at least he has come from a background where he can talk s**t. He can say this and that because he was in a war. It was good, and it may have swayed some people who were on the fence. After last week, he was ahead in the polls by four or five points, it was like 48 to 43 or some s**t. And now it’s starting to sway again, but its really all a f***ing headache.
AllHipHop.com: Are you afraid that Bush is going to pull something again this year and steal the election?
Eso: You never know, because you really never know who is in charge. You would have never thought that would have happened last time. It’s just so crazy! I was watching the Democratic National Convention and I was just waiting for Kerry to get f***ing picked off. I was waiting for him to get assassinated, I was like, "I can't leave, I can't leave". I know if I was any politician I would be shook of getting shot all the time. I'm not saying he is going to get assassinated or anything like that, but who knows? But what happened in Florida with Jeb Bush and s**t, I really don't know. Honestly, I don't even know why Bush is running again? He should just throw the election, and f***ing leave. Get out of the office and take a break. I would just hide forever if I was him! Seriously, he is the worst President in the history of the United States, and the verdict is in. Even the people who support him know that he is a f*** up, but you still gotta support him for whatever blind reason you may have.
AllHipHop.com: What do you think about the government raising the terror alert in NYC and New Jersey? Because for me, it’s just another case of them wanting us to live in fear.
Eso: Oh, totally! I saw that s**t and kind of laughed to myself. But then I was like "Oh s**t", when I saw they were naming specific buildings. Its one of those things were you can laugh at it and say "Yeah, whatever". But I'll tell you this, If I worked in one of those buildings, I wouldn't be showing up for work today. So I can laugh at the fact that its all bulls**t, but they do have us living in fear. Its sucg a mind f***, because that could have been strategically dropped on that day for a million reasons. Tom Ridge was out there to make those statements shortly after the Democratic National Convention, so who knows what kind of crazy s**t is gonna happen as we go into the election. There is going to be all types of crazy shit going on to “wag the dog” or do whatever. You’re right, as it is a case of trying to keep us in fear, but they are being successful. I stayed out of downtown Boston during the DNC. So as much as its bulls**t, they do have me living in fear, and it’s a f***ing shame.
7L: One of the things they were saying is one of the guys they caught in July was one of the heads in Al Qaeda's financial "division". That is the reason why this was based on financial targets, because of some of the information they got off him and cracking his codes of how he is communicating with people. So it’s really tough to tell who knows what and who is for real. It’s tough to tell if that is really how they got the information or now that the DNC is over, its time to shift some focus back on Bush's campaign.